Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Milwaukee Christian Center Uses Modular for Neighborhood Improvement Project

Milwaukee Christian Center - Neighborhood Improvement Project(MCC-NIP) is Milwaukee’s oldest and most successful independent non-profit housing agency.  

In the current challenging real estate market they have FOUR house sales pending—more than at any time in their history.  That will be 41 houses developed and sold to low-moderate income homeowners over the last decade or so. Our housing production efforts, funded by HUD and administered by the Milwaukee Community Development Grants Administration not only provide quality, affordable housing to low-moderate income families, but help to stabilize our city’s neighborhoods by attracting new homeowners.
Their next project will be a 4 bedroom 3 bath modular home at 2490 S. 12th Street. The MCC-NIP homes are built by Stratford Homes and by Terrace Homes, modular home factories.  

The home is for sale for $119,900. It's for a homeowner with a low to moderate income level.

John Kaye, MCC-NIP Project Manager

John Kaye is the project manager for the MCC-NIP and I talked to him about the process of using modular.

Modcoach: John, what prompted you to look at modular housing in the first place?  
John Kaye: Well, I sort-of fell into it by accident.  I've been in non-profit housing for around 30 years, most of that time rehabilitation of foreclosures and boarded-up/abandoned houses.  One of my many employers had been doing mods, and I took over doing that.  At MCC-NIP, we still do rehabs, and new construction both modular and stick-building.  (Our stick-built new construction is primarily a youth job training and education project for high school drop-outs, they do half-days in the classroom, half-days on the job learning to build a house.)  I like mods a lot, but don't necessarily think they are superior to stick-building, just different (and easier, for me!)

Modcoach: After finishing the first one, were there any surprises, good or bad?  
John: Hard to remember, quite a while ago (10 or 12 years).  Certainly fewer surprises than rehabs.
Modcoach: What factory is building your homes?
John: Of course, we put things "out to bid" so it's not always the same manufacturer.  Recently we've been mostly using Terrace Homes and Stratford Homes, both located in northern Wisconsin.

Modcoach: Do you have other projects on the drawing board? If so, will modular be a part of it?
John: Yes, but not any more mods at least until spring and most likely it will be mods again.

John, thank you for your dedication and the MCC-NIP's wonderful work in the Milwaukee area.

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